Recent days has seen the launch of a bunch of new trucks from Volvo, the new VNL in the US, and then the Aero from Volvo in Europe. New VNL gets Volvo back into the discussion about the most up-to-date and fuel efficient conventional prime over on the US market and gives them an opportunity to compete directly against the market leader freightliner Cascadia.
However, it’s the second cab off the rank, which we are talking about here, looking at in this video. This is the new Volvo FH Aero range of trucks. This represents a major redesign of the Volvo cabin to enhance economic efficiency, which will either reduce fuel o,r in the future, battery usage.
For many people, the headline of the event at which this new range was unveiled would probably be the fact that there is now an FH 16 with a 780 hp engine. This may well make a good headline for anybody writing about these trucks, but the fact of the matter is one of the major drivers into the future in the trucking industry is not going to be raw power, but battery efficiency
Although Volvo are a little coy about exactly how much fuel you can save with these new trucks, there is no doubt they will be more efficient than the current model line up here in Australia. Later this year we will get a better idea about how much benefit there is to this new design style, in terms of economy, when the new DAF XG+ comes out in the middle of the year with a similar cabin design, to assess how much difference the longer cab will make
The catalyst for the development of these new cabs, both from DAF and from Volvo is the relaxing of certain length regulations in the European market. This allows for a longer overhang of the front wheel and leads to the front of the cab sloping backwards making for easier airflow up and over the cabin.
These new trucks are no longer like a brick wall, driving into the wind. There is somewhere for the air directly in front of the truck to go and that is straight up and over the cabin roof. Not only are there efficiency gains, but also safety gains. This new design means that there is more room between the front bumper of the vehicle and the steering axle to build in accident mitigation, which should be safer for both the people in the truck and also those in any car which would be involved.
There’s only one question to ask after watching this video, and that is what will an Australian bull bar look like attached to the front of such a slick looking design and how much will that bull bar effect any fuel saving efficiency effect?